The Good Life
Renowned for turning unheard concepts into reality, Dubai is impressive; frighteningly impressive.
We visited the world’s largest aquarium inside the biggest indoor mall, before watching the longest choreographed fountain show at the base of the tallest building on earth. We spent the pleasantly warm evening strolling “The Walk”: a clean, beautiful, lit up walkway by the ocean. We learned of plans for the first Louvre outside of France, as well as the four major theme parks to open by 2020. We contemplated cooling off at Ski Dubai, but opted for playing in the crystal clear ocean water of the Persian Gulf. Sun-tanned and sandy, we walked off one of the many public beaches and finished the day admiring the stunning dessert sunset. Welcome to Dubai.
In just 40 years, Dubai has transformed from an empty desert to a major metropolitan hub. It is a seemingly Utopian city; A brand new, multicultural, superlative city. One that does not accept limits, challenges the impossible and envisions a future of endless possibilities. Renowned for turning unheard concepts into reality, it is impressive; frighteningly impressive.
Trying to wrap my head around the experience in Dubai has been a challenge. I can’t write about the city’s unprecedented growth without even acknowledging the concept of sustainability. After all, the per capita consumption of energy is currently among the highest in the world. From man-made islands to extreme air conditioning, to hotel-like airplanes, the luxurious “Dubai Lifestyle” is dependent on a mass consumption of fossil fuels. New plans, more spectacular than the previous are continuously being added to the pipeline… where does it end? With continued accelerated growth, what will the city be in 5 years? 20 years? How long can Dubai continue to out do itself?
Perhaps the lack of regard for sustainability can be better understood by the accompanying lack of accountability. Dubai is populated by expats, whom will remain expats regardless of how long they have been living in the UAE. Citizen status is never granted to foreigners. It is a place to enjoy, but do residents ever really see it as their home to take care of?
Sustainability aside, people really do seem to love living life in Dubai. I heard countless rave reviews over the 365 days of sunshine, tax-free income, extensive services, diverse opportunities, buzzing social scene and consistent sense of security. Most recognizable was the undeniable excitement and pride of belonging to a city unlike any other. While I may not have fallen under the spell of Dubai, I can certainly appreciate the appeal.